Integrating Enterprise Applications: a Guide to EAI Middleware

by John Kneiling


Middleware is at the center of intelligent and integrated e-Business-IT Architectures. As companies restructure, merge, acquire and disperse, Middleware is called upon to bridge the gap between platforms, applications architectures and data formats. New paradigms, such as Web Services and XML-based applications extend interoperability both within and between applications. Competitive pressure to reduce costs and increase the speed of integration forces Business to reuse and re-purpose existing systems for cost saving, by integrating them with new application systems and technical frameworks. The speed of Business requires a lightweight, adaptable and flexible Middleware framework. In order to handle the challenge of the many application integration issues that have arisen in the past decades, a number of approaches have evolved, such as data-level, application-level, traditional service-level, Object/component-level, and Web Service interoperability. At the same time, many technical approaches have been applied to the problem. These include DataBase Gateways from Sybase and other vendors, Transaction Processing Monitors such as IBM’s CICS, Object Transaction Servers (IONA’s Orbix for example), Message-Oriented Middleware, e.g. Microsoft MSMQ, Web Application Servers like BEA’s WebLogic,
etc. These products are all in general use, often existing side-by-side in the same IT infrastructure. This poses a second challenge: how do we integrate the Middleware itself, with its different methodology and technical approaches?
This seminar provides a detailed review of a variety of Middleware technologies and products, and shows how your Enterprise can use them to develop and integrate Directories, Portals, Web Services, Data Warehouses and operational and other applications. Real-world case studies are used for illustration. The materials are supplemented by relevant articles and references to resources such as Web-sites and books.